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U.S. Men's Deaf Soccer Team Wins Belgium Tournament

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Friday, April 25, 2003) – USA Deaf Soccer Association’s (USADSA) U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team took first place at the Belgium International Invitational Soccer Tournament in Kortrijk on April 19 and 20.  The first-place finish was the first in a tournament for the U.S. Men's Deaf National Team since they began competing in 1981.

The team was led by head coach Peter R. Cornell and assistant head coach Kyle Cornell, and compiled a 2-0-3 record in the five-game tournament.  "Everybody contributed and the outcome should not be a surprise," said Peter Cornell after the championship.  "We have some very good players. We did, however, play some very tough teams, especially from England."

Mike Lawson, a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology was selected MVP of the tournament, while Mike Higgins, a freshman at the George Washington University, led the team with four points.

The United States Women's Team earned seventh place in a very difficult indoor setting.  The event in Kortrijk marked the first time the USA has sent both National Teams to participate in the same tournament.

vs. Black County (England) 2-0
vs. DFC Kortijk 1-1
vs. DFC Luton (England) 1-1

Semi-final vs. DFC Derby 0-0 (4-3) shootout
Championship vs. DFC Luton 1-0

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams are preparing for the Melbourne, Australia 2005 Deaflympics (  The Men’s Deaf National Team is also preparing for the Third Pan-Am Games for the Deaf (PANAMDES) in Buenos Aires, Argentina from September 19-28, 2003 (, where the team will face Argentina (8th place at 2001 Deaflympics, Canada and Chile).  Only the top two finishers in the four-team group will qualify for the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia.

USADSA’s objectives in preparing for the 2005 Deaflympics are to participate in a number of international tournament and training camps to help create cohesion between the large number of rookies and veterans on the squad.

USADSA became an affiliate member of U.S. Soccer in October 2001, and works closely with the USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) and U.S. Soccer to promote the sport of soccer, as well as the activities of their deaf athletes. The goals of the United States of America Deaf Soccer Association are stated directly in the opening objective of the group's bylaws:

"The purpose of USADSA is to foster national and/or international amateur sports competition, particularly in the field of soccer; to elevate and sustain the professional character of its members, to disseminate knowledge pertaining to the advancement of soccer among the deaf and hearing impaired population of the United States.", said Christos Nicholas, President of USA Deaf Soccer Association.

U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team Roster
Kortrijk, Belgium
April 19-20, 2003

Name                     Pos.       Age       Hometown
Nicole Banks              M/F         25        West Jordan, Utah
Kelli Beechy               M/F         21        Portland, Ore.
Austra Bloms             F             30        Minneapolis, Minn.
Christine del Pozzo     M/F         19        Oceanside, N.Y.
Allison Gibbons          M            20        Irvine, Calif.
Courtney Graham       M            27        Monrovia, Calif.
Rebecca Larson          D/F          22        Des Moines, Iowa
Jennifer Rogers          F             27        N/A
Lauren Searls             D/M/F      16        Rochester, N.Y.
Lizzie Sorkin              GK           21        Jackson, Wy.
Tracy Walker              F             28        Orange Country, Calif.
Mary Wallenfenz         M/F          45       San Antonio, Texas

U.S. Men’s Deaf National Team Roster
Kortrijk, Belgium
April 19-20, 2003

Name                  Pos.      Age      Hometown
Auckland, Jordan     M         19        Ellensburg, Wash.
Gross, Joel             M/F       22        Carlisle, Ohio
Hallermann, Ryan    GK       20         Sunset Hills, Mo.
Hamstra, Chris        GK       24         Cape Coral, Fla.
Higgins, Mike          M/F      19         Potomac, Md.
Holtgrave, Trevor    D         25         Fort Wayne, Ind.
Lawson, Mike          M         19         Wall, N.J.
Michel, Robert         D         24         Baltimore, Md.
Nicholas, Christos    M         38        Boyds, Md.
Pickering, Shaun     M         23         Middlefield, Conn.
Pisano, Dominic      M/F      19         Granville, Ohio
Reiher, Josh            D/F      20        Milwaukee, Wisc.
Richards, Thomas    M/F      16        Atlanta, Ga.
Rowse, DJ              M/F      19         Seattle, Wash.
Sanchez, John         D         38        Baltimore, Md.
Sipek, Brian            MF/F     23        Jacksonville, Ill.
Sorokin, Mark         F          20         West Hartford, Conn.
Wood, Chris           F          16         Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

National Team Staff
Men’s Head Coach:  Peter R. Cornell (Atlanta, Ga.)
Assistant Coach:  Kyle Cornell (Atlanta, Ga.)
Trainer:  Barry W. Deuel (Winchester, Va.)
Team Interpreter:  Holly Maniatty (Rochester, N.Y.)
Team Coordinator:  Sara Beth Weiner, (Washington, D.C.)

United States of America Deaf Soccer Association -